Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching Up

Its been a long time since the last blog post.  The lack of blogging has nothing to do with interest and everything to do with time.  Honestly, I didn't realize that the last post was way back in late September!  The time just flew by.

There's been a lot of interesting things going on around here over the past few months:
  • The Fall Festival was a pretty good success. Thanks to a nice day of weather, this was the first time in 3 years we were able to execute a full festival format.
  • Our Breakfast with the Hawks programs co-sponsored with the Bedford Audubon Society brought a lot of new people to the hawk watch this fall to witness hawk migration in person.  Not only were there numerous raptors for us to feast our eyes (and binos) on, but we also shared an assortment of coffee and breakfast goodies like muffins, bagels, and donuts thanks to generous contributions from both organizations and Wild Birds Unlimited in Bedford Hills, NY.  To see this season's hawkwatching results, visit the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch site online here.
  • Bird banding was a rewarding endeavor this fall.  Not only did we have the opportunity to share our passion for birds with a great number of people, but we were able to show how this important project works with "behind the scenes" tours.  Visitors were given the unique opportunity to see the various birds up close and in a way many people never get to see a bird - in the hand.  For us, bird banding is equal parts research, education, and inspiration.
  • A new, improved Westmoreland Sanctuary website was launched this fall as well.  Many hours of color coordinating, idea organizing, format changing, and photo editing turned into the website we have today.  We are still fine-tuning certain elements and adding additional features to the site, but its up and running for all the (Internet) world to see.  If you haven't been there yet, check it out.
  • We were visited intermittently by a Black bear this fall.  The big guy came and went every so often.  His presence was usually noticed the day after his visits when we found our bird feeders strewn about and bluebird house posts bent all the way to the ground.  Eventually we captured images of some foot prints and scat.  Long story short...he was captured and carried away by the NYS DEC in late October.  See a video about the captured bear at AllAboutArmonk.com.
  • We recently put the Cottage Garden to rest until spring.  All the shrubs are firmly planted and mulched for the coming winter.  A number of the perennials have been relocated to various areas of the garden in anticipation of next spring.  All of this wouldn't have been possible without the tireless efforts of our garden guru Margi.  We're very thankful for all her work.
  • And speaking of volunteer work, we now have a beautiful (and sturdy) fire box for our maple sugaring activities.  Our volunteer mason, Quentin, donated many hours of his time this fall to complete this difficult project.
In the midst of all this activity, we have managed to squeeze in a few educational programs for our local school groups, Boy/Girl scout troops, and the general public.  Since October 1st, we have reached over 1,950 people with our educational programs.  And there's plenty more to come!

So that's all for now.  I hope you feel like you've been caught up with what's been happening around here lately.  We'll be blogging with you again soon.

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist

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